Guest Post: Woo Kok 芋角 (Taro/Yam Puff) Recipe

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I have long been reading her blog. Like me, she is Malaysian-Chinese. She really has great skills and talent in cooking. What’s more, her baking usually blows my mind away! One day, I was checking her blog and saw  Fried Egg, Sunny Side Up Dessert that really caught my attention! I thought that was a great idea! Today, I am very happy to have Ellie from Almost Bourdain sharing a delicious and popular Dim Sum recipe with us!

When Leemei from My Cooking Hut sent me an email asking me to do a guest post for her wonderful blog, I knew immediately what kind of food I wanted to make. I wanted to make something that is connected to “our roots”. We are both born in Malaysia, Chinese by ethnicity, married to a European (I am married to a Dutch and she has a French partner) and living in foreign countries. 

My grandparents moved to Malaysia from China almost a century ago. They didn’t bring along a lot of luggage, but they did bring along a wealth of knowledge about the food they grew up with in China. They passed on the knowledge from generations to generations. I haven’t visited the province / city my grandparents came from, but I am connected to them via my knowledge of food. 

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Thanks to blogging, it makes it possible for me to be connected to so many wonderful Malaysian food bloggers. Regardless of where we are resided, we are all connect by one word – “food”. I am happy to share a popular Chinese yum cha (dim sum) recipe – Woo Kok 芋角(Taro / Yam Puffs). I have adapted the pastry recipe from ‘lobster taro pastries’ by one of the Australian leading chefs, Christine Mansfield. The taro pastry is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, exactly how I like my taro pastry to be.

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Woo Kok 芋角 (Taro/Yam Puff)

Yield:

Ingredients:

Taro Pastry:
500g taro root, peeled
1/3 cup wheat starch (澄麵粉)
130ml boiling water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Chinese Five-spice powder
3 tbsp lard

Filling:
300g BBQ pork (Char Siu), diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tbsp sugar

Method:

1. To make filling: Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, water, corn flour and sugar in a small bowl and stir to mix well. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Stir fry onion for 3 minutes or until soft. Add BBQ pork and stir-fry for another minute. Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, water, corn flour and sugar mixture. Stir well until heated and sauce thickened. Leave aside to cool.

2. To make pastry: Cut the peeled taro into big chunks. Sit on a flat plate or tray and steam in a covered bamboo steamer basket for about 1 hour until soft. Mash the soft taro in a large bowl while still warm.

3. Mix the wheat starch and water to make paste, add to the taro and mix until combined and smooth. Add the salt, five spice and lard and knead well to combine. The dough should be soft and pliable. Cover the dough with a cloth while you proceed to roll and assemble the pastries.

4. To make each pastry, break off a small amount of dough, roll to make a round think disk then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Put a small spoonful of char siu filling in the centre with the edges lifted, like a small well. Then, press the edges together and smooth out, to make an oval shaped pastry with a flat bottom. Discard any excess pastry.

5. Line a tray with baking paper and dust with rice flour to prevent sticking. Sit the pastry in a single layer on the tray.

6. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or wok to 180C, add a few pastries at a time and fry for 5 minutes until crisp and flaky. Drain on paper towel and serve with a hot chilli sauce.